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Can Muoghalu activate Onitsha River Port as Buhari appoints him NIWA MD?

Earlier in the week, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the National Auditor of the All Progressives Congress (APC), George Muoghalu, as the new Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).

Recall that his appointment is coming one month after Buhari named the immediate past NIWA MD, Senator Olorunibe Mamora, as the Minister of State for Health.

Whereas the Anmbra State born financial expert is now the fourth MD of NIWA in the past seven years, interest groups have started setting agenda for him.

Leading stakeholder at Onitsha Main Market Association and importer, Chief Ikenna Udeagbala in a telephone interview with Business Hilights South East Bureau chief Thursday, called on the new NIWA boss to fast track the activation of abandoned Onitsha River Port for use.

He said “Even though previous efforts of former MDs of NIWA failed, Muoghalu must make extra effort in stepping on toes especially at the political will level to drive the revival of the port.

“We had been waiting for the port to be up and running so that south east business will grow making use of the natural facility.

According to Chief Udeagbala, this is the time when we the members of South East Business Leaders will pay an official visit to the Vice President to remind him the assurance he gave us during presidential campaign that the Onitsha River port will be activated as soon as APC wins the presidential election.

Also in Anambra State, the Chairman of the Anambra State chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Vincent Ezekwueme, who in a statement, described the appointment as the best Independence Day gift to the South-East.

According to him, “This is a welcome development and cheering news to the people of the South-East and Nigerians. This is the best Independence Day gift to the South-East. The President has provided the opportunity towards resuscitation of the moribund Onitsha seaport,” the statement read in part.

“Moghalu as a moralist, selfless, patriotic, humble, honest and servant leader must bear the interest and social well-being of the citizens at heart by rehabilitating the decrepit and deplorable Onitsha seaport to boost economic activities in the South-East, as well as give them a sense of belonging,” Ezekwueme said.

It would be recalled that between year 2013 and now, NIWA has had Mrs Mariam Ciroma, Boss Mustapha, and Mamora as substantive chief executive officers, while Danladi Ibrahim, a senior director at the agency had performed the role of acting MD.

Fact checks showed that the major stumbling block in the effective activation of the River Port renovated by former Goodluck Jonathan administration was its concession process which was stalled midway due to issues bordering on political interests and mainly from which region will the winner of the concession process come from.

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